Chesham Taekwondo had some unexpected success at UITF World Championships held at Hatfield over 10th- 12th July.
Junior black belt, 13 year old Max Whitley and 15 year old black tag George Hanchant were entered in the junior divisions, Max on Saturday and George on Sunday.
Success was not really expected as Max was not only at the younger end of his group, he was also in the lightest group, the under 52kg, and weighing just 41kg he was also the lightest.
George on the other hand didn’t think he would make his weight category as when he had been entered 2 months previously he weighed 61kg so was entered in the -63kg. Unfortunately he’d put on weight, but not eating on the day of the weigh in (Thursday ) he managed to scrape it, much to his relief.
The tournament attracted large teams from Australia, USA, South Africa, Argentina, Poland as well as other nations and all of the UK. It was very smoothly run and the packed audience watched competition from 8 matted ‘rings’.
Max firstly had his pattern event where the competitors had to perform a pattern of their choice from their black belt grade ( 1 of 3 to choose from ) and then the judges would give them one to perform from a possible 11 others. Competitors had to really know all their patterns and remember them under immense pressure.
With 32 in his group Max had a battle on his hand. He won through round after round before ending up in the final against South Africa. It was very close with a split decision from the 5 judges, unfortunately not in Max’s favour, but a SILVER was a fantastic result.
In his sparring event he was up against the USA in the first round. This lad was the biggest in his division but after 2 rounds Max won unanimously. Not so lucky in his next fight with another split decision going against him so no medal this time.
George was in the junior coloured belts on Sunday in what seemed like an even more packed arena. In the blue and red belt patterns they only performed 1 own choice pattern. He managed to win through to the semi-finals where he was narrowly beaten by an American. Very happy with his bronze George went on to his sparring event determined for the title. Un-phased by any of his opponents he soon found himself in the final. Keeping his cool and using some well aimed kicks he finished the round being declared junior red belt -63kg UITF sparring WORLD CHAMPION. Another superb effort and a total tally for Chesham of 3 medals. Chesham club is very proud of them both.
The next Unified world championship will be hosted by Argentina in 2017.